Essex Golf Union

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Short History of the Essex Golf Union

Significant Events

1924: Inauguration: The Essex County Amateur Golf Union was inaugurated at a meeting of representatives from sixteen Clubs held at Romford Golf Club on 27th February 1924. All the Clubs in Essex, twenty-three in number, had previ­ously been circulated.

The sixteen clubs were as follows: ­-

Bowers Gifford



Thorpe Hall

Boyce Hill

Grays & Orsett 

Rochford 100 



Hainault Forest


West Essex



Theydon Bois


The First Officers: The following were elected at the above meeting: ­

President: J. J. Esplen (Wanstead)

Vice-Presidents: H. Shaw (Romford) and G. E. Larman (Rochford Hundred)

Hon-Secretary: P. Kemp (Wanstead), Hon-Treasurer: J. J. Murray (Romford)

1924: The First Competition arranged by the Union was a 36 holes medal, which became the Essex Amateur Championship, and was open to all members of Essex Clubs with a handicap of 12 or under, and the winner of the scratch prize, Mr.C.Law (club unknown) was the first Essex Amateur Champion. The Essex Amateur Championship Cup was presented by Wm. J. Ralph, Esq., the Captain of Romford Golf Club, and the Esplen Challenge Trophy, for the Club Championship, by J. J. Esplen, Esq., O.B.E., Captain of Wanstead Golf Club and President of the Union. Both trophies were competed for in 1924. The Championship continued to be played over 36 holes until 1955 when it was decided over 72 holes.

1925: The Junior Team Championship Trophy (now the Leslie F. Wood Team Championship) presented by Mrs. J. J. Esplen, was first competed for in 1925.

The annual Amateur v. Professionals match was first played at Thorndon Park on 28th March 1925.

1920/25: The Thornton Challenge Cup, for Club teams, was presented by Sir Henry W. Thornton of Great Eastern Railway in 1920, before the Union was in existence, and the competition, which was not restricted to Essex Clubs alone, was organised by a special committee. The first winners were Thorpe Hall Golf Club.  In 1925 it was reported that the committee desired to hand over the trophy to be dealt with by Essex County Amateur Golf Union, and it was proposed to run the competition on the same lines as hitherto except that it would be open to all Essex Clubs in addition to those in Hertfordshire and Middlesex who had competed in the past.

1929: The Mullis Foursomes (now Fourball) was first played for the trophy presented by Mr F. Mullis of Romford Golf Club.

1932: The Foursomes Championship Trophies were presented by Mr G E Larman, of Rochford Hundred Golf Club in 1932 when the event was inaugurated and from then until 1967 it was a 36-hole knockout competition. In 1968 it was changed to a medal competition played over 36 holes.

1932: The Boys Championship was first played and the cup was presented by Mr T. Lloyd Evans (Wanstead) and Mr E. Cunningham (Chigwell) in 1933.

1939: The Herbert Bishop Vase was presented by Mr W. H. Bishop, of Mersea Island Golf Club to be competed for by Captains and Secretaries of Essex Golf Clubs and members of the County Executive Committee.

1951: The Youth Shield: Mrs. F. Howard Bell of Chigwell Golf Club always took an interest in junior boy’s golf and in 1951 her father, Mr H. H. Holmes, presented the Youth Shield.

1963: The Upminster Bowl was presented by the then Captain of Upminster Golf Club,  Mr L. Walmsley for the Essex Under Twenty-Five Championship.

1970: The Keating Trophy was presented by Michael Keating (Wanstead) for Category One players, to be played as a scratch 36 hole qualifying round with the top 16 players competing at Match Play.

1974: The 50th Anniversary of the formation of the Union was celebrated by a Dinner attended, amongst others, by the Presidents of the Counties we had played against in the South Eastern League.

1975: The Romford Trophy was presented by Charles Olley and family for competition by Category One players.

1988: The Under-16 Championship Trophy was presented by Dennis Cule Smith, (Thorpe Hall), County President in 1982 and 1985.

1994: The Faldo Wedge: Nick Faldo donated a set of his clubs to the Golf Foundation with the request that they be used to raise money for that body. Several counties bought one of these clubs and Essex obtained a pitching wedge, which has been competed for each year since then by teams of Junior golfers.

1996: The Boys Foursomes Championship was introduced by the Boys Committee and a Trophy was presented in 1997 by Theydon Bois Golf Club to commemorate the Club's Centenary year.

1997: The Seniors Championship was introduced for golfers over 50, and Chelmsford Golf Club donated the Chelmsford Challenge Trophy in 1998.

1999: The County Union celebrated the 75 years of its existence on 21st May with a Jubilee Dinner at Stock Brook Manor Golf Club. In attendance, representing the English Golf Union, were the President, Peter Wilson and the Secretary, Paul Baxter. Representatives from several South-Eastern County Unions were also in attendance.

2000: Freehold premises purchased at 2d Maldon Road, Witham.

The Colts Championship was initiated for golfers under 21 years.

2001: The Upminster Trophy was presented by Past Captain of Upminster Golf Club, and Union Executive Committee member, Roger Walmsley. It is to be played for by golfers aged 25 and over in conjunction with the Upminster Bowl for players under 25 which was presented by his father, Mr L. Walmsley, in his Captain's year of 1963.

2002: The Allan Lockwood Trophy was presented by this Past President of the Union, to be played as an Individual Essex Match Play competition.

2003: The Annual General Meeting agreed that the name of the union be changed to Essex Golf Union.

2007:  The Norman Plum Trophy competition was initiated for category 3 and 4 golfers.

2008:  The Cliffords Trophy, presented by Mr CAP Stubbings, Channels Golf Club, was introduced to replace the Courage Trophy competition.

2010: The Essex Golf Union Limited (a company limited by guarantee) was registered with Companies House and all assets of the Essex Golf Union were transferred to the Essex Golf Union Ltd.

2018: The John Day Trophy competition was introduced for catatagory 3 & 4 senior golfers.

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